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$8.8B Jewellery Market Drops As The Big, Fat Indian Wedding Deflates

The Indian government’s sudden demonetisation of ₹500 and ₹1,000 notes in November this year did more than just create a cash crunch for the domestic jewellery industry. It has deflated a giant market that has, over many years, lifted Indian jewellery consumption to sky high levels and insulated retailers from the vagaries of the consumer marketplace that have impacted their colleagues in other countries.

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Alluvial Diamonds: It’s Always About The Money — War Is A By-Product

The horrific civil war that raged in Sierra Leone for 11 years from 1991 to 2002 and left over 50,000 dead and thousands with mutilated limbs, war wounds and emotional scars that could never be fully healed, triggered the birth of the Kimberley Process.

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Time For The KP To Pivot & Focus On The Source Itself

The upcoming Plenary Session of the Kimberley Process has been preceded by an acrimonious debate on the issue of transfer pricing and the walk-out of the Civil Society Coalition (CSC). There is now a deadlock over the issue and everybody is now looking at the issue of rough diamond valuation and  whether or not the exchequers of alluvial-diamond-producing countries get their due in diamond revenues.

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Dear Vinod, all good points. But you failed to mention THE major collaborative effort uniting development experts and industry. Namely the Diamond Development Initiative - DDI. http://www.ddiglobal.org/ Any reason for that? Take care, Stephane
Dear Stephan, I couldn't agree more with you -- the DDI is definitely THE collaborative effort uniting development experts and the industry. I was involved in one of the early DDI meetings in Accra and I am enthusiastic about what they do. My point was, that instead of trying to develop more national-level initiatives and even looking at UN involvement, the KP would achieve more practical results over the issue of transfer pricing if it focussed on the plight of the artisanal digger and worked at giving him a fair price for his product. I'm only suggesting what the best focus for the way forward might be.
Transfer pricing is word used for multiple issues.The issue here is one of state governance within the whole context of sovereign states internal and export commodity-based taxation. States need to fund capacity in people and infrastructure and ensure redistribution policies. All straightforward. But without governance and willingness to enforce their own legal framework...It is a step by step process as per the DDI.
Transfer pricing is word used for multiple issues.The issue here is one of state governance within the whole context of sovereign states internal and export commodity-based taxation. States need to fund capacity in people and infrastructure and ensure redistribution policies. All straightforward. But without governance and willingness to enforce their own legal framework...It is a step by step process as per the DDI.
Yes I understand that. All I'm trying to say is that instead of setting up more national-level structures (which I think have a very slim chance of success), the KP now needs to focus on building up local commercial structures that benefit artisanal miners. This is much more doable and stands a great chance of succeeding. I'm sure the DDI would be one of the lead agencies in this endeavour if the KP does choose to go down this road.
As much as the KP must remain a tripartite structure to deliver Government-Industry-NGO's, So does these efforts. Government-Traders-Mining Communities. Together they can make it happen, but one actor can spoil it...
Stephane, I'm in agreement with you. The effort has to be tripartite. I'm merely saying that the direction of the effort should now be towards focussing on the artisanal miner and not on trying to set up more structures outside of his immediate situation. That's all.
I'd like to share an email I got from Ian Smillie of the DDI in response to this piece. Ian is one of the founders of the KP itself and really needs no introduction. Dear Vinod, I follow your articles with interest, especially this one. When the Diamond Development Initiative began, we were concerned that past lessons about artisanal miners had not been learned, remembered, or even understood. The failure of the cooperatives funded by USAID in Sierra Leone were of particular interest, because everyone seems to think that cooperatives are the answer to whatever ails the sector. USAID pulled out but never explained why, so we did our own evaluation. See http://www.ddiglobal.org/login/resources/policy-brief-june-2008-english-version-1.pdf There is a longer version as well on the DDI website. There were many reasons for the failure, not least poor planning, a ridiculously short time frame, and then the sudden withdrawal of USAID when a delayed environmental assessment opined that a planned revolving loan fund was unworkable. While great efforts were put into the project by those who managed it, the donor’s unrealistic conditions and time frame doomed it from the beginning. In your article, you say about cooperatives that they are “worth trying” and that companies should get behind the idea. In fact DDI has been working on this concept for more than four years in Sierra Leone—interrupted by Ebola—and more recently in DRC. We have support from the German government, and from several important industry players, including the Tiffany & Co. Foundation, De Beers, Brilliant Erath and others. We work actively with the Kimberley Process Working Group on Artisanal alluvial Production. We are learning a lot and we are making headway. The miners are supportive as are local governments, but there is no magic bullet. Artisanal diamond mining and marketing is like a jigsaw puzzle with a great deal of blue sky. In due course we expect that we will have models that can be expanded and replicated, and in the meantime, we keep working at it, knowing that it can’t be rushed, but that a solution or solutions will be important for Africa’s 1.5 million artisanal diamond miners, the dozen-plus countries where they work and the industry as a whole. Best wishes, Ian

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